People without children have all sorts of pre-conceived notions about what being a stay-at-home parent is all about. I say this not to accuse anyone I know of doing this. I am saying this because I, myself, was one of those people.
When people I know decided to stay home I used to wonder what in the heck they did all day! How could you possibly stay busy?
It was really hard for me to make the decision to stay home. I was (and maybe still am a little bit) so embarrassed to say that I am a Stay-At-Home Mom. I remember sitting at lunch one day in a sushi bar with my mom and the baby. I was talking to a lady next to me and I asked her what she did for a living. I don’t remember what she said but then she asked me the same thing and I felt my face flush because I had to say that I was staying home. I listened to myself tell her what a great career I had but that I left it to stay home with my baby- and I was embarrassed.
I was talking to my mother-in-law one day (yes, I am one of the lucky ones who likes my mother-in-law) and we were talking about me staying home. I thought that she looked down on me for this. However, she told me that I shouldn’t be embarrassed about it and that when people ask me what I do I don’t have to say “I’m a Stay-at-home-mom.” She told me to say something like “I have chosen to stay home and raise my daughter.” This really hit it home for me and that is what I’ve been saying ever since.
So, what do I do all day? Well, that depends on the day and the age of the baby at the time, but in the beginning I pretty much sat and breastfed and changed diapers and held the baby while she slept. This really is tiring (believe it or not) because you are learning to read your baby and what she needs from you when she cries. Plus, she cried for the first four months (I’ll blog about that another time).
As she got older I filled my day with walks, baby activities, chasing her around, etc. It is actually very hard to explain what I do all day but I do know that a typical day runs from 7am-7pm and there is very little down-time involved. On days that my daughter naps I use the down time to straighten up the house, do dishes, do laundry, take a shower, etc. Once all of that is done I can maybe play on Facebook or the internet. All of the work I do for the moms group that I organize and the website is done after Brett is in bed.
Honestly, sometimes I don’t even know what I do all day but I know that I am exhausted at the end of the day! There are no lunch breaks for a stay-at-home-mom. And, there really is hardly any alone time. Today, for example, Brett wanted to be held all morning. She wouldn’t even let me put her down so that I could go to the bathroom! She literally sat on my lap while I peed and wiped (sorry if that is TMI). Then, I had to hold her on my hip and pull up my pants with one hand.
I don’t regret making the decision to stay home but I do sometimes miss my career. I don’t want to give the cliché that I am now the CEO of my family (besides, my husband might chuckle at that) but I am now holding the most important position that I’ve ever had- that of a mother.